University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Global Warming and You part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This project is to build a concept map that represents the individual's relationship with the Earth System and the ways in which individual actions impact climate. This is at once the first and final activity of the course, a way to encourage students to articulate preconceptions about climate change and global warming, delineate where they see the line between natural and anthropogenic factors in climate change, and assess how their comprehension evolves over the course of the semester. The strengths of the activity rest in (a) early introduction of the concept map/sketch to students who may not have constructed them before, (b) providing a snapshot of student understanding at the beginning of the class, (c) encouraging evaluation of learning and revision of knowledge base by the student, (d) providing space for the student's larger interests in climate to be expressed in what is primarily a course focused on the science of climate change.
Global Warming in the Field part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This field trip involves group problem solving using aspects of glacial geology, paleoclimatology, and sea-level change predictions. The strengths are in getting students in the field in coastal RI: peaty/swampy terrain meets moraines meets coastal beaches.
Earth Materials part of Cutting Edge:Course Design:Goals Database
Earth Materials is here designed under a core-to-crust concept umbrella covering content spanning mineralogy/petrology/Earth processes, embracing active learning, collaborative learning, process of science/research, writing/presentation skills, and field experiences. Contextualizing geological content with case studies, local/regional/global geology, human uses of the Earth, and a sense of how Earth evolves over time is paramount.